quantum computing

Today’s quantum computing processors must operate at temperature close to absolute zero, and that goes for their electronics, too. Fermilab’s cryoelectronics experts recently hosted a first-of-its-kind workshop where leaders in quantum technologies took on the challenges of designing computer processors and sensors that work at ultracold temperatures.

In 1999, Nature published the first demonstration of a superconducting quantum bit, or qubit, a feat that relied on trillions of atoms operating in nearly perfect synchrony so that their collective, macroscopic, quantum state was either in 0, 1, or any desired complex superposition of the two. Chad Rigetti, CEO and founder of Rigetti Computing, will give insight into their efforts as a full-stack quantum computing start-up that has provided 24/7 cloud access to quantum processors since 2017. 

A Fermilab group has found a way to simulate, using a quantum computer, a class of particles that had resisted typical computing methods. Their novel approach opens doors to an area previously closed off to quantum simulation in areas beyond particle physics, thanks to cross-disciplinary inspiration.

Fermilab’s quantum program includes a number of leading-edge research initiatives that build on the lab’s unique capabilities as the U.S. center for high-energy physics and a leader in quantum physics research. On the tour, researchers discussed quantum technologies for communication, high-energy physics experiments, algorithms and theory, and superconducting qubits hosted in superconducting radio-frequency cavities.

Quantum leap

Alex Romanenko prepares to supercool superconducting accelerator cavities, the silver-colored objects, to convert it into a quantum device. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Fermilab scientists are adapting the lab’s cutting-edge accelerator technology for qubits and quantum sensors.